As part of its strategy to highlight and promote tourism in the Emirate of Ajman locally, regionally and internationally, the Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) will participate in ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show, from the 8th to the 12th of March 2017.
Through its participation in the event, which provides a global platform for interaction with investors, the ATDD aims to learn about the best practices in tourism development, share experiences and exchange ideas with other industry leaders.
In this regard, Ajman Tourism Development Department revealed a 6.5% rise in tourist traffic in 2016 compared to the figures of 2015. According to the 2016 tourism statistics recently released by the ATDD, the Emirate welcomed 543,000 tourists in 2016 compared to 510,000 visitor arrivals in 2015. The number of room nights also increased to 836,000 in 2016 versus 789,000 nights in 2015, representing a 6% growth.
Domestic tourists accounted for 25% of the total tourist footfall. Tourists arriving from Asia and Africa made up 20% of the total arrivals, while visitors from the GCC and other Arab countries represented 16% and 17% respectively. Tourists from European countries, Americas and Russia made up 9%, 7% and 6% of arrivals respectively.
Ajman's total revenue from the tourism and hospitality sector amounted to AED411 million in 2016, a 14.5% growth compared to the AED359 million registered in 2015.
Commenting on the ATDD's upcoming participation in the exhibition, His Excellency Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Ajman Tourism Development Department, said: "Participation in this international event is of a paramount importance to us, as it will positively affect the performance of the tourism sector. This unique gathering of tourism leaders and investors provides opportunities to exchange experience and attract new investments to the Emirate to develop our resources and boost our returns to ensure sustainable tourism and economic growth in line with Ajman Vision 2021."
He added: "Our participation in this international event is part of our strategy to promote the Emirate of Ajman as a unique tourist destination that meets the expectations of tourists arriving from different global destinations. We are focused on promoting the Emirate of Ajman as an environmentally sustainable, family-friendly, historically rich, safe and secure tourist destination – features that Ajman shares with other Emirates of the UAE."
His Excellency clarified: "Our goal is to develop a tourism sector that supports responsible and sustainable development in line with Ajman's 2021 strategic plan of working towards a green economy in order to make Ajman the destination of choice for all types of tourists. This fits well with our strategy of promoting the Emirate of Ajman as a unique tourist destination in the region. We will hold meetings with leading tourism operators to strengthen bilateral relations and boost cooperation."
Speaking about the business and investment opportunities provided by the event, Al Nuaimi said that Ajman stands out as a unique destination for tourism investment, with a vast array of investment opportunities in key tourism sectors such as medical tourism, sport tourism, business tourism and leisure tourism: "The Emirate has current and future plans to develop more leisure and tourism projects and will provide facilities to investors who are willing to establish their tourism projects in the Emirate".
Speaking about the goals of the participation in ITB Berlin, Al Nuaimi said: "This participation enables us achieve many goals. This leading industry event is attended by top international tour operators, official tourism authorities, hoteliers and investors and provides an important platform for participants to explore global trends, developments and innovation within the sector".
In addition, it plays a crucial role in encouraging and driving more European tourists to visit Ajman. According to statistics, the Emirate saw more than 51,000 guests from various European nationalities in 2016, up 12% from the figures of 2015.
The ITB Berlin affords the Emirate of Ajman exposure to the European market and also helps promote Ajman on a global level - as a leisure and investment destination - by highlighting the business potential and investment opportunities that exist within the Emirate.
The Ajman tourism sector continues to excel with a number of developments planned for the coming year including the opening of the luxury five-star eco-destination The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, which will be accepting reservations from the 2nd of April.
The ATDD delegation will be headed by His Excellency Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager; Yamina Aoucher, Director of Tourism Development and Marketing; Shamsa Thani, Promotion Executive and Alia Ali, Promotion Executive while the Ajman tourism delegation will consist of a number of co-participants from the hospitality sector including Ajman Saray, Fairmont Ajman, Ajman Palace, Al Zorah Development Company, Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche and SNTTA Emir Tours.